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Police make four arrests during modern slavery crackdown in Hertfordshire

Police stopped more than 80 vehicles during the operation. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Police stopped more than 80 vehicles - and made four arrests - during an operation targeting human trafficking and modern slavery in Hertfordshire.

The six-hour crackdown, involving more than 100 police officers, targeted vehicles crossing the border between Hertfordshire and London and immigration and vehicle safety checks were carried out.

In total, 83 vehicles were stopped by police and 67 people were spoken to about modern slavery and human trafficking.

Three potential victims of slavery or trafficking were identified and supported by the Red Cross.

Four people were arrested on suspicion of offences including theft, theft of a motor vehicle, possessing drugs, driving while disqualified, carrying a knife and drug driving.

One person was cautioned for possessing cannabis and one suspected stolen vehicle was recovered.

Five uninsured vehicles were taken off the road and seized as well as others with mechanical defects. Other driving offences such as speeding and not having an MOT were also dealt with.

“Trafficked people or other victims of exploitation are often moved around by road. The aim of the operation is to disrupt that activity, making the Hertfordshire/London border a hostile area the criminals or gangs that choose to exploit people. “Members of the public using the services were also engaged on the subject trafficking and modern slavery. It is vital that the public are aware of how to spot the signs that someone might be being exploited or controlled by others for commercial gain.”

– Special Chief Inspector Andrew Lobel

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Witness sought for Stevenage stabbing.

A 22 year old man has been stabbed in Stevenage.

The victim was in an alleyway in Mendip Road on Friday 20th January at 4.20pm when he was approached by two men who attacked him with an unknown implement.

Both offenders are described as white men. The first is described as being of slim build, between 5ft 11in and 6ft tall, with short light coloured hair and wearing dark clothing.

The other man is described as being of slim build with short dark hair and wearing dark clothes including a grey top under a jacket.

Police want to speak to anyone who saw the suspects in the area.

Hertfordshire Police Credit: Hertfordshire Police

Police hunt for motorist who drove wrong way along dual-carriageway

Police in Hertfordshire are trying to track down a motorist after a car was driven the wrong way down the A414. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Police in Hertfordshire are trying to track down a motorist after a car was driven the wrong way down the A414 between Hatfield and St Albans.

Police tried to stop the vehicle which was travelling west towards St Albans on Saturday 7 January.

The driver pulled into the Shell petrol station before driving through the forecourt and back onto the carriageway, travelling in the wrong direction.

Officers say they did not pursue the vehicle for the safety of members of the public.

“This was an extremely dangerous thing to do as it put other road users at risk of serious, or even fatal injury.

“We are working to trace the person responsible and I am appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident, or who thinks they know the identity of the driver to please get in touch.”

– PC Pete Talbot, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit

Hertfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses.

Tributes paid to driver killed when his car left the road

Tributes have been paid to a man who died when his car left the road in Baldock in Hertfordshire on Saturday 1 October.

Mark Knights, 54, was driving a green Toyota Hilux on Bygrave Road, shortly after 1am when the crash happened. Police are still investigating what caused the car to leave the road.

Mark Knights died in a road accident on Saturday 1 October in Baldock. Credit: Hertfordshire Police

“Mark was a wonderful son, brother, uncle, father and friend. The void left in our lives since his passing will never be filled. He will always be missed by all who loved and knew him.

“We are still trying to come to terms with what has happened and ask to be left alone so that we can grieve in peace.”

– Family Statement

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Have you seen missing Helen?

Hertfordshire Police say concern is growing for a woman from Royston who's not been seen for almost a week.

51-year-old Helen Bailey is described as slim, with long black hair but it is not known what she was wearing at the time she went missing.

She was last seen around 2.45pm on Monday April 11.

It is also believed that Helen has her dog with her – a miniature Dachshund. Helen is known to have connections to Kent, Northumbria and London.

Missing Helen Bailey Credit: Hertfordshire Police

Man hit in face with champagne bottle in Stevenage

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was hit in the face with champagne bottle in Stevenage on Saturday evening.

The victim, a 34 year old man, was approached by four males believed to be aged between 17 and 20.

One of the men attacked him with a champagne bottle, causing him to lose two teeth. The victim ran off and hid until the offenders had left the scene. He then realised his red mountain bike had been taken.

The incident happened between 7.50pm and 8pm in Shephell View.

Two people charged with slavery offences in St Albans

Hertfordshire Police have charged two people in St Albans with offences connected to slavery.

Johnny Murphy, 25, and Shanon Loveridge, 22, were both charged with knowingly holding a person in slavery or servitude and knowingly requiring another person to perform forced labour in St Albans between April 2010 and September 2014.

Their arrest followed advice from Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service.

In March officers from Hertfordshire Police executed a warrant at an address in St Albans following following reports of potential human trafficking taking place on the premises.

Jonny and Shannon have been released on bail and will appear before St Albans Magistrates Court on Tuesday 27 October.

A 62-year-old woman has been released without charge.

Man watched boy while he was in changing room

An e-fit image of a man police would like to speak to. Credit: Hertfordshire Police.

Police in Hertfordshire are investigating reports that a man spied on an 11-year-old boy while he was in a changing room cubicle in Hitchin.

Officers have released an e-fit image of someone they would like to speak to in connection with their inquiries.

The incident reportedly happened at about 6.05pm on Tuesday June 24 at a swimming pool in Fishponds Road.

The victim was getting changed when a man entered an adjacent cubicle and looked over to watch him.

He is described as being white, between 5ft 7ins and 5ft 9ins tall, and of slim build.

“This incident has understandably left the victim shaken as it is a total invasion of his privacy. We would like to identify this man as quickly as possible."

– PC Phil Snook, Hertfordshire Police.
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